We are in a recession. What caused it? No, not COVID-19. There is but one cause for all recessions and depressions. Monday, Nov 30 2020 

RECESSION
[rəˈseSH(ə)n]
noun
A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. Recessions generally occur when there is a widespread drop in Spending.

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The measure of Spending is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the formula for which is:

GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports

Spending is related to the supply of money in the economy. All recessions are caused by reductions in money supply growth, but they may be triggered by many different factors. As you will see, understanding the difference between “caused by” and “triggered by” is important.

Red line =Annual percentage changes in Federal Deficit Spending. Recessions = vertical gray bars. 

The above graph shows that recessions (vertical gray bars) tend to occur following periods of reduced federal deficit spending growth. Recessions are cured by increased federal deficit spending growth.

The graph below is a close-up view of the period following the 2008 recession. It shows a 2009 – 2020 decline in deficit growth, which made the 2020 recession inevitable.

The line shows federal deficit spending growth.

Here is the same graph, with the addition of Gross Domestic Product.

Blue line = Gross Domestic Product

After the federal deficit spending to cure the 2008 recession started to decline, GDP growth had leveled off. We experienced a severe GDP decline in 2019 — well before COVID — when we already were on our way to recession.

In the Alps, snow often becomes so deep that dangerous avalanches are imminent. So, to forestall an unexpected and potentially fatal avalanche, cannons are fired at the snowpack, to trigger a controlled avalanche.

It is not the cannons that cause the avalanche; the cause is the unstable snowpack. The avalanche, which eventually would have occurred with or without the cannons, was triggered by the cannons.

The uptick in the end-of 2019 federal deficit growth was the government’s response to the anticipated and realized GDP reduction. Sadly, it was not sufficient to prevent the recession.

Summary:

  1. a recession is a fall in GDP in two successive quarters,” and
  2. GDP is based on spending, and
  3. Because of reduced deficit spending growth, GDP began to fall in 2018, and seriously to fall in 2019, so
  4. We were about to have a recession before COVID. The pandemic did not cause the recession. COVID merely was the “cannon fire” that triggered an already imminent recession.

Outside events — pandemics, weather, stock market disruptions, oil shocks, earthquakes, wars, etc. — do not cause recessions. They only trigger recessions that were destined to happen, because the economy lacked money. Ultimately, all recessions are caused by lack of money in the private sector.

The subprime mortgage crisis was a trigger for, not the cause of, the 2008 recession. Federal deficit growth already was declining.

 

The 9/11 attack and technology speculation were triggers for, not the causes of, the 2001 recession. Federal deficit growth already was declining.

 

An oil shock was a trigger for, not a cause of, the 1990 recession. Federal deficit growth already was declining.

 

Inflation and oil shortages were triggers for, not causes of, the “double-dip” recessions of 1980 & 1981. Federal deficit growth already was declining.

 

Oil price increases were a trigger for, not a cause of, the recession of 1974. Federal deficit growth already was declining.

The real cause of all recessions is Congress’s and the President’s failure to pump enough stimulus money into the economy via deficit spending. Prior to recessions, federal deficit growth declines.

All of the above recessions were cured by increases in federal deficit spending.

Even in those cases where recessions were triggered by oil shortages, the U.S. government could have deficit-spent to purchase oil, then sold it at a loss in America, to prevent the inflationary results. Because all inflations are caused by shortages of key goods, purchasing and redistributing scarce items is how a Monetarily Sovereign government always can prevent/cure inflation.

Back in April of this year, we wrote:

“The economy needs at least $7 Trillion net added from the federal government. But, our Congress is spending far too little and spending way too late. Unless Congress and the President deign to see the light, we have no way to prevent a depression.”

“The $3 trillion rescue package helped avoid the catastrophe that is certain unless at least $7 trillion is pumped into the private sector.”

That was then; this is now, and Congress still is reluctant to do the deficit spending necessary to prevent a depression.

The Democrats proposed an additional $3.4 trillion package, and when the Republicans objected, the Democrats attempted a compromise by lowered their proposal to $2.2 trillion (The HEROES Act).

Neither proposal would have been sufficient to cure the recession, but they would have moderated the suffering.

However, the Republicans still objected, and instead resorted to the old political ploy of claiming the fault was the Democrats’ for not compromising.

Now, families are starving, and Congress is at a standstill, which will continue through the January inauguration. Even then, unless the Democrats win Georgia’s two Senate seats, Republicans may prevent any further stimulus, and the nation will fall into a depression.

The reasons given for the Republican obstruction is that the deficit is “unsustainable,” “unaffordable,” “imprudent” and/or are “socialism.” All those reasons are false.

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign , has the unlimited ability to spend. It prudently can “sustain” or “afford” any size deficit, as it has proved for the past 80 years.

Further, socialism is not just federal deficit spending. Socialism is ownership and control over resources. When the government merely spends, that is not ownership and control. Medicare, food stamps, unemployment compensation,  and all federal purchases from the private sector do not constitute socialism.

Even further, socialism in itself neither is bad nor good. When socialism devolves to a dictatorship, as happens with communism, it is bad. But we have a great deal of socialism in America that is good.

The military, federal agencies like NASA, the FBI, the CIA, the White House, Congress, our court system, roads and highways, most dams, public beaches, public libraries, public parks, West Point military academy, and many others are examples of “good” socialism.

The word “socialism” is used as a pejorative to confuse the public.

Bottom line: Today’s recession is wholly unnecessary. While the politicians blame it on COVID, they merely are finger-pointing. The blame for today’s recession, and indeed for all recessions and depressions, lies squarely with Congress and the President.

It is they who determine the private sector’s money supply, which is the true driver of recessions and depressions.

If Congress and the President can agree on spending an additional $5 trillion – $7 trillion in stimulus money, depending on where the money is spent, the recession would end. The economy would grow, businesses would survive, and the populace would thrive.

Congress and the President have all the power they need if they are willing to use that power to save America rather than using it to put the other party at a political disadvantage.

I fear, however, that if the Republicans maintain control over the Senate, Mitch McConnell has demonstrated he has no interest in helping the American economy and people, but rather seems solely concerned with preventing whatever the Democrats wish to do.

That attitude will lead to a depression in which only the rich will survive unscathed.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

There you go again. The same old, wrong story about federal “debt.” Thursday, Nov 12 2020 

And to quote President Ronald Reagan, “There you go, again.”

Except the first time he was talking about President Jimmy Carter’s charge that Reagan opposed Medicare. This time, we reference the Libertarian ongoing, interminable, economically ignorant claim that the so-called “federal debt” is too high by once again calling it a “ticking time bomb.”

I won’t go into details about why the federal “debt” is not a debt in the usual sense; rather, it is deposits that easily are paid off simply by returning them to the depositors. You can read about that, here.

Instead, we will dive directly into an article written by Todd G. Buchholz, “a former White House director of economic policy under President George H.W. Bush and managing director of the Tiger Management hedge fund, who was awarded the Allyn Young Teaching Prize by the Harvard Department of Economics. He is the author of New Ideas from Dead Economists and The Price of Prosperity.

In  75 years, a 90-fold increase in debt (blue) vs. a 10-fold increase in inflation (red). Still no “time bomb” explosion.

America’s New Debt Bomb, Aug 20, 2020, by TODD G. BUCHHOLZ

Like in World War II, the United States is piling on debt to confront a whole-of-society crisis, raising the question of who will foot the bill in the long term.

Immediately, we come across a misstatement. There is no “bill” for the federal debt. No one ever will pay for the federal debt, not today’s taxpayers nor tomorrow’s. Federal taxes do not fund federal debt.

Federal finances are nothing like personal finances, which require income to fund outgo. The federal government requires no income. It never can run short of dollars, and it does not use taxes to fund spending.

But, unlike the post-war era, the underlying conditions for robust economic recovery today are less than favorable, placing an even greater onus on wise policymaking.

The United States today not only looks ill, but dead broke. To offset the pandemic-induced “Great Cessation,” the US Federal Reserve and Congress have marshaled staggering sums of stimulus spending out of fear that the economy would otherwise plunge to 1930s soup-kitchen levels.

When someone or something is “dead broke,” they are unable to pay their bills. But the federal government never is unable to pay its bills. Being Monetarily Sovereign, it has the infinite ability to pay bills, even without collecting taxes.

The 2020 federal budget deficit will be around 18% of GDP, and the US debt-to-GDP ratio will soon hurdle over the 100% mark. Such figures have not been seen since Harry Truman sent B-29s to Japan to end World War II.

The debt/GDP ratio is completely meaningless. “Debt” is the net total of deposits into Treasury Security accounts in the 240+ years since the U.S. became a nation. GDP is one year’s total American spending — the ultimate apples/oranges comparison. There is no relationship between the debt/GDP ratio and America’s economic viability.

Assuming that America eventually defeats COVID-19 and does not devolve into a Terminator-like dystopia, how will it avoid the approaching fiscal cliff and national bankruptcy?

To answer such questions, we should reflect on the lessons of WWII, which did not bankrupt the US, even though debt soared to 119% of GDP.

The federal government cannot go bankrupt. It is a mathematical impossibility for a nation with the infinite ability to create its sovereign currency.

By the time of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, that ratio had fallen to just above 40%. WWII was financed with a combination of roughly 40% taxes and 60% debt.

Mr. Buchhotz first advises reflecting on the lessons of WWII, then promptly forgets what he has written.

WWII was not finanaced with taxes or with debt. It was financed with federal money creation. Even if the federal government had collected zero taxes and zero deposits, it easily could have paid all war bills. That is the fundamental difference between personal finance and federal finance.

These US bonds were bought predominantly by American citizens out of a sense of patriotic duty.

Fed employees also got in on the act, holding competitions to see whose office could buy more bonds. In April 1943, New York Fed employees snapped up more than $87,000 worth of paper and were told that their purchases enabled the Army to buy a 105-millimeter howitzer and a Mustang fighter-bomber.

It was a con job by the government, to make Americans feel they were part of the war effort. Similar psychological efforts included school children saving and turning in newspapers and housewives turning in used cooking oil.

Neither the newspapers, nor the cooking oil, nor the “war bonds” had any utility for the government.

Patriotism aside, many Americans purchased Treasury bonds out of a sheer lack of other good choices.

Until the deregulation of the 1980s, federal laws prevented banks from offering high rates to savers. Moreover, the thought of swapping US dollars for higher-yielding foreign assets seemed ludicrous, and doing so might have brought J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI to your door.

While US equity markets were open to investors (the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually rallied after 1942), brokers’ commissions were hefty, and only about 2% of American families owned stocks.

Investing in the stock market seemed best-suited for Park Avenue swells, or for amnesiacs who forgot the 1929 crash.

Today, bonds have two primary purposes:

  1. To provide a safe “parking place” for unused dollars (which helps stabilize the dollar) and
  2. To assist the Fed in controlling interest rates (which helps control inflation.

In no case are bonds a method for the U.S. government to obtain dollars. The federal government (unlike state and local governments) creates dollars, ad hoc, by spending dollars.

How, then, was the monumental war debt resolved? Three factors stand out.

First, the US economy grew fast. From the late 1940s to the late 1950s, annual US growth averaged around 3.75%, funneling massive revenues to the Treasury. Moreover, US manufacturers faced few international competitors. British, German, and Japanese factories had been pounded to rubble in the war, and China’s primitive foundries were far from turning out automobiles and home appliances.

Second, inflation took off after the war as the government rolled back price controls. From March 1946 to March 1947, prices jumped 20% as they returned to reflecting the true costs of doing business.

Third, the US benefited from borrowing rates being locked in for a long time. The average duration of debt in 1947 was more than ten years, which is about twice today’s average duration. Owing to these three factors, US debt had fallen to about 50% of GDP by the end of Dwight Eisenhower’s administration in 1961.

The “monumental war debt” (i.e. the total to deposits into Treasury Security Accounts) was “resolved” (reduced) when existing bonds matured and fewer people wanted to make deposits into new bond accounts.

This “resolution” neither benefited, nor was a burden on, the U.S. government. The government has total control over the number and face amount of bonds outstanding.

If it want more deposits, it either can raise interest rates or the Fed itself can create dollars and make those deposits.

So, what’s the lesson for today?

For starters, the US Treasury should give tomorrow’s children a break by issuing 50- and 100-year bonds, locking in today’s puny rates for a lifetime.

The above makes the implicit and false assumption that “tomorrow’s children” will fund federal debt. Again, this belief is based on the false assumption that Federal debt is like state/local debt and personal debt.

Finally, what about the post-war experience with inflation?

Should we try to launch prices into the stratosphere in order to shrink the debt? I advise against that. Investors are no longer the captive audience that they were in the 1940s. “Bond vigilantes” would sniff out a devaluation scheme in advance, driving interest rates higher and undercutting the value of the dollar (and Americans’ buying power with it).

Any effort to inflate away the debt would result in a boom for holders and hoarders of gold and cryptocurrencies.

Utter nonsense. Inflation does not “shrink the debt” (total deposits), and though inflation can shrink real deposits (i.e. inflation-adjusted, total deposits), there is no purpose served in trying to shrink it.

Further, inflation neither is caused nor cured by federal debt. All inflation, down through history, has been caused by shortages, usually shortages of food and/or energy. Inflation is cured by curing the shortages, which sometimes requires increased deficit spending.

The federal debt (total deposits in T-security accounts) is not a burden on the government, not a burden on taxpayers, not a burden on future generations, and not a burden on the economy.

The “debt” has increased massively, with no adverse effect on anyone. But the debt-scare-mongers are immune to learning from experience, which is why we continually add to the following list:

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September, 1940, the federal budget was a “ticking time-bomb which can eventually destroy the American system,” said Robert M. Hanes, president of the American Bankers Association.

By 1960: the debt was “threatening the country’s fiscal future,” said Secretary of Commerce, Frederick H. Mueller. (“The enormous cost of various Federal programs is a time-bomb threatening the country’s fiscal future, Secretary of Commerce Frederick H. Mueller warned here yesterday.”)

By 1983: “The debt probably will explode in the third quarter of 1984,” said Fred Napolitano, former president of the National Association of Home Builders.

In 1984: AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland said. “It’s a time bomb ticking away.”

In 1985: “The federal deficit is ‘a ticking time bomb, and it’s about to blow up,” U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. (Remember him?)

Later in 1985: Los Angeles Times: “We labeled the deficit a ‘ticking time bomb’ that threatens to permanently undermine the strength and vitality of the American economy.”

In 1987: Richmond Times–Dispatch – Richmond, VA: “100TH CONGRESS FACING U.S. DEFICIT ‘TIME BOMB’”

Later in 1987: The Dallas Morning News: “A fiscal time bomb is slowly ticking that, if not defused, could explode into a financial crisis within the next few years for the federal government.”

In 1989: FORTUNE Magazine: “A TIME BOMB FOR U.S. TAXPAYERS

In 1992: The Pantagraph – Bloomington, Illinois: “I have seen where politicians in Washington have expressed little or no concern about this ticking time bomb they have helped to create, that being the enormous federal budget deficit, approaching $4 trillion.

Later in 1992: Ross Perot: “Our great nation is sitting right on top of a ticking time bomb. We have a national debt of $4 trillion.”

In 1995: Kansas City Star: “Concerned citizens. . . regard the national debt as a ticking time bomb poised to explode with devastating consequences at some future date.”

In 2003: Porter Stansberry, for the Daily Reckoning: “Generation debt is a ticking time bomb . . . with about ten years left on the clock.”

In 2004: Bradenton Herald: “A NATION AT RISK: TWIN DEFICIT A TICKING TIME BOMB

In 2005: Providence Journal: “Some lawmakers see the Medicare drug benefit for what it is: a ticking time bomb.”

In 2006: NewsMax.com, “We have to worry about the deficit . . . when we combine it with the trade deficit we have a real ticking time bomb in our economy,” said Mrs. Clinton.

In 2007: USA Today: “Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen.

In 2010: Heritage Foundation: “Why the National Debt is a Ticking Time Bomb. Interest rates on government bonds are virtually guaranteed to jump over the next few years.

In 2010: Reason Alert: “. . . the time bomb that’s ticking under the federal budget like a Guy Fawkes’ powder keg.”

In 2011: Washington Post, Lori Montgomery: ” . . . defuse the biggest budgetary time bombs that are set to explode.”

June 19, 2013: Chamber of Commerce: Safety net spending is a ‘time bomb’, By Jim Tankersley: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is worried that not enough Americans are worried about social safety net spending. The nation’s largest business lobbying group launched a renewed effort Wednesday to reduce projected federal spending on safety-net programs, labeling them a “ticking time bomb” that, left unchanged, “will bankrupt this nation.”

In 2014: CBN News: “The United States of Debt: A Ticking Time Bomb

On Jun 18, 2015: The ticking economic time bomb that presidential candidates are ignoring: Fortune Magazine, Shawn Tully,

On February 10, 2016, The Daily Bell“Obama’s $4.1 Trillion Budget Is Latest Sign of America’s Looming Collapse”

On January 23, 2017: Trump’s ‘Debt Bomb’: Deficit May Grow, Defense Budget May Not, By Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr.

On January 27, 2017: America’s “debt bomb is going to explode.” That’s according to financial strategist Peter Schiff. Schiff said that while low interest rates had helped keep a lid on U.S. debt, it couldn’t be contained for much longer. Interest rates and inflation are rising, creditors will demand higher premiums, and the country is headed “off the edge of a cliff.”

On April 28, 2017: Debt in the U.S. Fuel for Growth or Ticking Time Bomb?, American Institute for Economic Research, by Max Gulker, PhD – Senior Research Fellow, Theodore Cangeros

Feb. 16, 2018  America’s Debt Bomb By Andrew Soergel, Senior Reporter: Conservatives and deficit hawks are hurling criticism at Washington for deepening America’s debt hole.

April 18, 2018 By Alan Greenspan and John R. Kasich: “Time is running short, and America’s debt time bomb continues to tick.”

January 10, 2019, Unfunded Govt. Liabilities — Our Ticking Time Bomb. By Myra Adams, Tick, tick, tick goes the time bomb of national doom.

January 18, 2019; 2019 Is Gold’s Year To Shine (And The Ticking US Debt Time-Bomb) By Gavin Wendt

[The following were added after the original publishing of this article]

April 10, 2019, The National Debt: America’s Ticking Time Bomb.  TIL Journal. Entire nations can go bankrupt. One prominent example was the *nation of Greece which was threatened with insolvency, a decade ago. Greece survived the economic crisis because the European Union and the IMF bailed the nation out.

July 11, 2019National debt is a ‘ticking time bomb‘: Sen. Mike Lee

SEP 12, 2019, Our national ticking time bomb, By BILL YEARGIN
SPECIAL TO THE SUN SENTINEL | At some point, investors will become concerned about lending to a debt-riddled U.S., which will result in having to offer higher interest rates to attract the money. Even with rates low today, interest expense is the federal government’s third-highest expenditure following the elderly and military. The U.S. already borrows all the money it uses to pay its interest expense, sort of like a Ponzi scheme. Lack of investor confidence will only make this problem worse.

JANUARY 06, 2020, National debt is a time bomb, BY MARK MANSPERGER, Tri City Herald | The increase in the U.S. deficit last year was about $1.1 trillion, bringing our total national debt to more than $23 trillion! This fiscal year, the deficit is forecasted to be even higher, and when the economy eventually slows down, our annual deficits could be pushing $2 trillion a year! This is financial madness.there’s not going to be a drastic cut in federal expenditures — that is, until we go broke — nor are we going to “grow our way” out of this predicament. Therefore, to gain control of this looming debt, we’re going to have to raise taxes.

February 14, 2020, OMG! It’s February 14, 2020, and the national debt is still a ticking time bomb!  The national debt: A ticking time bomb? America is “headed toward a crisis,” said Tiana Lowe in WashingonExaminer.com. The Treasury Department reported last week that the federal deficit swelled to more than $1 trillion in 2019 for the first time since 2012. Even more alarming was the report from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicting that $1 trillion deficits will continue for the next 10 years, eventually reaching $1.7 trillion in 2030

April 26, 2020, ‘Catastrophic’: Why government debt is a ticking time bomb, Stephen Koukoulas, Yahoo Finance  [Re. Monetarily Sovereign Australia’s debt.]

August 29, 2020LOS ANGELES, California: America’s mountain of debt is a ticking time bomb  The United States not only looks ill, but also dead broke. To offset the pandemic-induced “Great Cessation,” the US Federal Reserve and Congress have marshalled staggering sums of stimulus spending out of fear that the economy would otherwise plunge to 1930s soup kitchen levels. Assuming that America eventually defeats COVID-19 and does not devolve into a Terminator-like dystopia, how will it avoid the approaching fiscal cliff and national bankruptcy?

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Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

A disgrace of leadership. Starvation in America. Sunday, Oct 18 2020 

As you read excerpts from the following article, keep several facts in mind.

  1. Unlike state and local governments, the United States government uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign. It never can run short of dollars. Even if it collected zero tax dollars, the U.S. government could continue spending, forever.
  2. The American people are running short of money, and many are entering a starvation phase they never before had experienced.
  3. U.S. politicians, especially conservatives, claim that federal deficit spending (aka “money printing”) will cause inflation or will have to be paid for by our children. Neither claim is true. They both are part of what is known in economics, as “The Big Lie.”

It is a disgrace. The wealthiest government on earth, having infinite resources, is intentionally allowing its people to fall into starvation.

In the history of the United States, inflation never has been caused by federal deficit spending. Inflation always is caused by scarcity — shortages of vital products, usually food or energy (oil).

And the claim that aid given now will be paid for by our children later, not only is false, but makes no sense on the face of it.

No one pays for federal spending, not our children, not taxpayers, not anyone. All federal spending is funded exactly the same way: The federal government creates new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays for something.

State and local governments don’t operate that way. They are not Monetarily Sovereign. They use tax dollars to pay their bills. The federal government does not.

What becomes of those federal tax dollars you send to the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Treasury? They are destroyed upon receipt. They cease to exist in any money measure. That is why there cannot be a definitive answer to the question, “How much money does the federal government have?” The correct answer is: It has infinite money.

And as for worries about future children paying for federal stimulus dollars, our children are paying now, by sliding into poverty.

Many children and adults will die too soon, by not being able to afford medical care or by inadequate nutrition. Many brilliant brains will be wasted by not being able to afford college.

This is today’s America, the once “golden land,” that now has been turned into “misery land.” And it all is unnecessary.

At the touch of a computer key, our federal politicians could end poverty in America. Yet, because their own bellies are full, they focus only on being re-elected, not on the welfare of the people.

The Democrats want to spend money into the economy; the Republicans refuse. It is that simple.

There is no apolitical way to sugar-coat this. It is the Republican Senate, led by Senator Mitch McConnell, that primarily is responsible for the currently growing poverty in America.

The Democrats are responsible for not explaining the facts to the American people, but at least they want to pump money into the economy. The Republicans don’t.

The blood of today’s impoverished and dying Americans is on GOP hands.

Yahoo Money
Millions of Americans are entering poverty amid pandemic as stimulus runs out
Denitsa Tsekova·Reporter, Sat, October 17, 2020
Millions of Americans have been thrown into poverty as government aid dried up in the last five months, according to a pair of studies, and those ranks will likely swell without more relief on the way.

“Poverty is rising in the United States,” Zach Parolin, a researcher at the Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy told Yahoo Finance (video above). “More families, once again, are struggling to put food on the table, struggling to provide for their families at a time when we have the means to be able to help them out.”

Eight million more Americans fell below the poverty threshold since May, a study by Columbia University found. A similar study from the University of Chicago and Notre Dame estimated 6 million Americans entered poverty for the same period.

A figurative “wall” divides federal wealth from starving people. The wall is guarded by Congress.

Without further government intervention, more Americans could follow, facing food insecurity, utility shutoffs, and even homelessness.

What a disgrace, what a cruel disgrace.

Visualize that to the left is a vast pile of wealth — money, food, medicine, education etc. — and to the right are homeless, starving people.

In between is a wall, guarded by the U.S. Congress, intentionally preventing the impoverished people from receiving aid.

That is America, today.

Poverty in the U.S. actually declined at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks largely to two provisions in the CARES Act: stimulus checks and the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits.

Since then, there has been no second round of checks, and the extra unemployment benefits expired at the end of July.

“That’s just a lot of money that they’re going to have to do without,” Bruce Meyer, a University of Chicago economist, told Yahoo Money. “It means people are going to be cutting back on what they can.”

While the funding provided under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act was the largest economic stimulus package in history, its effects won’t last long enough to support those in financial hardship, especially when the job market and the economy haven’t recovered.

“Unless we see a miraculous employment recovery,” Parolin said, “it’s certain that families are going to need some extra income support to be able to pay the bills and put food on the table.”

The fading effect of the stimulus comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue talks for a bipartisan stimulus deal.

But disagreements on price tag and key provisions, lack of GOP support, and the proximity of the election all lower the prospects of a deal before the election.

The bottom line is quite clear. The Republicans, having for decades told their constituents that federal deficits are bad for the people and bad for the economy, now do not want to tell the simple truth: Federal deficit spending is necessary for economic growth.

So despite the fact that predictably, deficit spending for stimuli has been beneficial, with none of the politicians’ dire predictions realized, the GOP would rather see people starve than to admit they have been lying all along.

I hate to put this in such stark political terms, but there is no way around it: The Democrats want more stimulus; the Republicans want less. Period.

With no additional support, experts warned that the economy will slow and fewer jobs will be created. Protections for renters and borrowers also are set to expire, likely leading to another increase in poverty.

The so-called “protections for renters and borrowers” merely shifted the pain to landlords and lenders, who also are people suffering from the recession.

The solution is not to transfer pain from one group to another, but rather for the federal government to pump dollars into the pockets of all the people.

Only the federal government can spend money without feeling pain.

“Poverty is going to continue to rise,” Meyer said. “You’re going to have people having had more and more weeks out of work, and only a fraction of those lost earnings replaced. That’s going to accumulate over time.”

The financial hardships caused by this will likely mean a rise in people who can’t pay rent and utility bills, who will struggle to buy food, and who could even lose their homes.

“It’s sad to say,” Parolin said, “we can probably expect to see an increase in homelessness in the United States.”

At least 38 states have paid out all their funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

The above article should make you furious. All this pain, all this hunger, all this tragedy in America, coming mostly from the party that promised to “Make America Great, Again,” is completely unnecessary.

Way back in April we published an article titled “The coming depression; The problem and the solution.” It began:

There is no other way to say this. We (in the U.S.) are headed for a depression because we have an incompetent and untruthful government.

Our fundamental problem is the lack of money in the private sector. The solution is for the federal government, which being Monetarily Sovereign has unlimited money, to pump dollars into the economy.

Sorry, but it isn’t any more complex than that.

Problem: Lack of money. Solution: Add money. How much money? What the economy lost due to the virus.

The economy needs at least $7 Trillion net added from the federal government. But, our Congress is spending far too little and spending way too late.

Unless Congress and the President deign to see the light, we have no way to prevent a depression.

That was April, yet Congress and the President still have not seen the light.

So you will suffer, sadly, needlessly, disgracefully. We will have a depression. The blame is directly on the shoulders of Congress and the President. You trusted them. They failed you.

Be sure to vote.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The employer health-care insurance scam Sunday, Sep 27 2020 

In the posts, “‘The “Medicare for All’ controversy”, and “Ten Steps to Prosperity: Step 2. Federally funded Medicare — Parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone”, we describe how easily the federal government could provide free healthcare insurance to every man, woman, and child in America.

The program could pay for comprehensive, no deductible, no-coinsurance, no-limit, no out-of-pocket costs of any kind insurance, without levying a penny in federal taxes.

Instead of that, America, the wealthiest nation on earth has this:Even Golden Handcuffs Are Shackles

‘Focused on survival’: Millions of laid-off Americans still living without health insurance
Alexis Keenan·Reporter
Fri, September 25, 2020, 3:12 PM CDT
With hundreds of thousands of Americans filing new unemployment claims every week, sobering evidence of the difficulties faced by laid-off workers is showing up in the estimated number of U.S. adults now lacking health insurance.

Since the onset of COVID-19 in mid-March, workers who lost employment-based healthcare insurance (ESI) far outnumber those who gained coverage, either through a public or private option.

Approximately 4.6 million to 5.6 million workers who lost job-based coverage since March are now uninsured.

It’s common for those who have lost job-based insurance to go without it. Unless you have a serious health issue, insurance is just not on the priority list.

Medicaid eligibility largely depends on the state where the laid-off worker resides, and is based on current monthly income.

In states that have expanded Medicaid, those with current monthly income less than 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible. For a family of 3, the limit is approximately $2,500 per month. For an individual, the limit is approximately $1,466 per month.

In states that have not expanded Medicaid, eligibility is limited to parents with minor children whose median income is below 40% of the federal poverty level, or whose annual income did not exceed $8,532 for a family of three in 2019.

ESI is designed to seem like a wonderful perk. In most cases, the employer seems to pay most or all of the premiums, and you, the employee, usually are guaranteed coverage, even with pre-existing conditions.

Except:

  1. The employer really doesn’t pay. He’s just a go-between. When hiring, employers calculate the cost of employees to include all costs (salaries, perks, office space, expense accounts, etc.) The reality is, the employee pays for everything, with the only benefit being the tax benefits for running the costs through the employer. Salaries could be higher if the employer didn’t pay for healthcare insurance.
  2.  Most insurance plans charge according to experience, so the employers pay more for “expensive employees” (older employees and those with expensive medical conditions.) That is one reason why you “expensive employees” have more difficulty finding jobs. Employers quietly discriminate against you.
  3. If you lose your job, you may have difficulty finding healthcare insurance, or if you do, it probably will be at a high cost at just the time when your income has disappeared. So the “free” ESI is a pair of golden handcuffs (that you really pay for).

Especially, if you are in your 50s or older, the terror of losing your healthcare insurance, at just the time in your life when you will begin to need it  most, can leave you completely at the mercy of your employer.

And that is the whole point.

America’s rich write America’s laws, including tax laws.

From H&R Block:

In 2018, the IRS allowed you to deduct medical expenses that exceeded 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, all taxpayers may deduct only the amount of the total unreimbursed allowable medical care expenses for the year that exceeds 10% of their adjusted gross income.

You aren’t able to claim both an itemized tax deduction with your standard deduction. Essentially, your medical deduction needs to be significant, along with other itemizations, to give you a great deduction.

For the current tax year, the standard deduction is worth $12,000 for single taxpayers and $24,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. If you’re filing as the head of household, it’s worth $18,000.

Get it? For a business, all medical expenses are tax-deductible. Businesses pay taxes on profits. But,, for you individually, medical expenses only are deductible after they go above 10% of your adjusted gross income or your standard deduction.

If, for instance, your income is $50,000, the first $5,000 of your medical expenses isn’t tax deductible.

Side note: The so-called “standard deduction” is not a deduction. It is the amount you can’t claim if you wish to itemize your expenses. The higher the “standard deduction,” the less you can claim as a deduction for expenses.

The above paragraph about standard deductions really should read, “For the current tax year, single taxpayers can’t take the first $12,000 expenses as deductions. Married taxpayers can’t take the first $24,000, and heads of households can’t take the first $18,000.”

That means the vast majority of Americans can’t take any expense deduction at all. By contrast, businesses can deduct almost all their expenses.

It’s just another con job by the rich.

Getting back to Medicare for All, if the federal government funded a comprehensive plan that covered all your hospital, doctor, equipment, and long-term care costs, not only could your salary be higher, but your employer would not “own” you. Losing your job would be far less traumatic.

The federal government already has done the hard work by creating Medicare for All (over 65), so the functional problems have been solved. It would be a simple matter to reduce the qualifying age to 0, and to eliminate deductibles and co-pays.

Except, that is not what the rich want. They want to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest, and one sneaky way to do it is via employer-provided healthcare insurance.

And now, we’ll entertain the false claims that Medicare for All is “unsustainable” and/or “socialism.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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